Published: 15/02/2007 00:00 - Updated: 29/11/2011 16:55

Mr James Anderson, Achosnich, Dornoch

THE SUDDEN death of James Anderson on Tuesday February 6 cast a shadow of sorrow over a wide district. James was born in 1933 at Faebuie near Evelix, the only son of Joseph and Jessie Anderson, and was named James MacLeod Anderson after his grandfather James MacLeod, a renowned mason and stone carver, much of whose carving can still be seen at Skibo Castle. James was educated at Dornoch Academy and he early displayed his skill at football. Sadly his formative years were overshadowed by the death of his mother while just in his teens, so he and his father were left alone. He began his working life in the painting and decorating trade but this was interrupted by National Service, which he spent in Kenya and Korea. It was an experience of which he did not speak. In 1958 he married Ella Matheson, daughter of Hugh and Chrissie Matheson, Rearquhar, another local family well-known for several generations. They made their home in the hill farm of Achosnich, which had been in his mothers side of the family since his great-great-grandfather was settled there after having been removed from Lower Evelix at the Clearances. That was John Grant, the originator of John Grant and Sons, Dornoch. In Achosnich they were blessed with four sons and one daughter, and as the hill farm was not adequate to support them he was employed in the council road team where he became a respected favourite for many years and cultivated many friends. In latter years he was overtaken with a debilitating illness against which he bravely struggled and until very recently, with family help, carried on the farm. After several spells in hospital he was for a short time in the Lawson Memorial, where he passed away suddenly. His funeral in Dornoch Free Church was the largest seen for many years and indicated the respect he had earned during his life. It was conducted by his minister, the Rev Angus Lamont, who shared with the congregation the help and inspiration he always enjoyed on his visits to Achosnich. He went to help and encourage, but it was he who received such from James and Ella. James had a deep Christian faith, but like so many he did not profess it until a few years ago although it was long obvious. When he finally approached the minister he confessed: I just couldnt put it off any longer. Ella was a lifelong support to him in many ways and shared his faith. To her and the family John and Liz in Faebuie; Jim and Irene in Torboll; Shona and her husband Robert Munro in Rearquhar; Hugh and Claire in Northern Ireland; and David and Catriona in Driemastle; and their 12 grandchildren the warm sympathy of a wide circle is extended. (b)JOS(/b)

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